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Gulab Jamoon Recipe

Eid ul Fitr - Gulab JamoonThis is Trini Gulab Jamoon. I say “Trini” because I have had gulab jamoon in Indian restaurants in the UK and from friends in Barbados etc where their gulab jamoon was more like our ras goolah. Fried balls served or soaked in a syrup. This is fried balls of rich dough yes, but glazed with sugar, not soaked. Traditionally made in elongated ovoid shapes (see Trini Gourmet’s recipe or this picture from my brother’s wedding boxes, for the more usual shape). However, since I am not good at that shape, I make little balls. Cute and easy to eat.

This is my mother’s recipe as given to us all. Mom makes a really rich soft gulab jamoon that’s nothing like kurma. Which is why I never understood when people would call gulab jamoon the “big kurma”. Kurma is doughy and can be either thin and crispy or big and fluffy. Gulab Jamoon is rich and dense and sweet even without the sugar glaze. But the connection is there certainly, so doh mind me and my pickiness. It is still fried dough :-) with sugar all over it. Of course this isn’t entirely traditional as it uses an icing sugar glaze rather than the regular sugar paag used in most indian sweets. But, trust me, icing sugar glaze dries faster and more evenly. Just a different look.

Gulab Jamoon


* 1 tin condensed milk

* 8 ounces margarine (softened)

* 1 1/2 pounds flour – about 3 cups

* 1/2 tsp each ground cinnamon, elaichi (cardamom)

* 1 pinch ground cloves

* oil for frying

Sugar Glaze

* 12 oz icing sugar

* 1/4 cup hot water at a time


1. Mix condensed milk and margarine with spices until mixture is smooth.

2. Add 2 cups of flour and mix well and then add the final cup a little at a time in case all is not needed – it is important to keep the dough soft and not dry and cracking.

Note: flour content depends on humidity etc – I used a little less in Scotland, whereas you usually need the full amount in T&T. Do not add any water and knead well and cover with a damp cloth to keep it from drying out.

Wedding Sweets3. Make into balls and then make into an elongated oval shape before deep frying on a medium heat. Keep dough covered at all time with the damp cloth. (Alternatively, shape into round balls.)

4. Make sugar glaze by mixing together half the icing sugar and 1/4 cup water. Add more water and icing sugar as needed. It’s easier to glaze and quicker to dry when the glaze is hot/warm.

5. Dip the gulab jamoon into the glaze and lay out on baking sheets or waxed paper to dry.

Makes around 65.

Thin Kurma
[October 25 2007 – I have a photo now of thin, or hard kurma, in case anyone is interested (like burekaboy asking here). I will try to get a photo of fat or soft kurma for more reference :-) And I guess at some point maybe a recipe. Especially for Mom’s almond kurma – light, fluffy and nutty!]

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38 Comments so far (Add 1 more)

  1. I like the name of the recipe. Gulab Jamoon. :-)

    1. ewe_are_here on February 5th, 2007 at 5:42 pm
  2. ooo icing sugar? interesting! i like the big snowy clumps tho 😀 i always heard it as soft kurma and the sticks as hard kurma.. so i was calling it soft kurma for a long time til i heard/saw the term goolab jamoon 😀 i felt like i had been tricked! :( welcome back!! 😀 i trying ras gullah sometime in the future 😀

    2. The TriniGourmet on February 5th, 2007 at 11:22 pm
  3. yes – I do like big snow clumps on kurma, because the soft kurma dough is usually less sweet (there is such a thing as soft kurma and it is supposed to be different from gulab jamoon), but Mom’s gulab jamoon is so rich, I even eat it WITHOUT any glaze :-)

    3. chennette on February 6th, 2007 at 1:20 pm
  4. tastes so good without glaze and hot!

    4. Lilandra on February 6th, 2007 at 10:31 pm
  5. ok, what’s kurma?? the first time i saw them the trinidadian way was through sarina. was news to me…. both yours and sarina’s look so good. will have to try making them this way. i just don’t associate them (yet) as G J without the syrup!

    5. burekaboy on February 7th, 2007 at 12:26 am
  6. This is the crispy kurma here. But the soft kurma is also made in Guyana and called methai (or something like that) and is usually cut off a long fat tube of dough then fried, and sugared. But flavoured with clove and cardamom as well.

    6. chennette on February 7th, 2007 at 11:00 am
  7. kurma is love

    7. The TriniGourmet on February 7th, 2007 at 7:01 pm
  8. yes – mom has made an almond kurma – the soft kind – so good. The texture of the soft kurma (not the gulab jamoon) is almost like a challah bread I think – or a brioche (at least the way Mom makes kurma) – what say you Niki?

    8. chennette on February 7th, 2007 at 7:04 pm
  9. i think i need to taste your soft kurma 😀

    9. The TriniGourmet on February 8th, 2007 at 2:13 am
  10. you must try the gulab jamoon covered with chocolate glaze and rolled in sprinkles and also the stuffed gulab jamoon; Lilandra likes them stuffed with pitted prunes and I like them stuffed with pitted dates. But the others in our family do not like them stuffed.
    Try and enjoy.

    10. trinimom on February 9th, 2007 at 2:01 pm
  11. Oh gosh, Chennette, yuh talking my thing.

    Sorry for being a bad fellow blogger recently. I see you tagged me in your post about weird food facts. Is it too late to answer?

    11. Mani on February 9th, 2007 at 5:01 pm
  12. never too late – I’ve been offline alot in the past month, so I didn’t get to follow up properly on these things :-) you’re still welcome to join in!

    12. chennette on February 9th, 2007 at 6:57 pm
  13. sounds good mom! 😀 this blog is bad for my weight 😀

    13. The TriniGourmet on February 9th, 2007 at 9:13 pm
  14. OH My!
    More sweet desserts to tempt me..Can anyone say soft kurma and donuts!!!!!!!:)

    14. Marsha on February 17th, 2007 at 8:08 am
  15. :-) Mom always said gulab jamoon was like an Indian donut…mmm…

    15. chennette on February 18th, 2007 at 7:54 pm
  16. I must admit that all this talk of gulab jamoon and the difference between it has made me feel for kurma…so when are you going to share a nice kurma recipe…I’ll admit though I’d prefer it if you just shared the kurma :)

    16. Rone on February 28th, 2007 at 9:39 pm
  17. i meant to say the difference between it and kurma and ras gullah has made me feel for kurma

    17. Rone on February 28th, 2007 at 9:41 pm
  18. Someone’s offering to share kurma? They do that at weddings and stuff. :-) In little bags all prettied up.
    When next I wing my way to Jamaica I’ll make sure I walking with some kurma.
    Welcome to posting :-)

    18. chennette on February 28th, 2007 at 9:44 pm
  19. Superb recipe!

    21. Angel on August 12th, 2008 at 5:28 am
  20. thanks Angel – although it’s my mother’s

    22. Chennette on August 12th, 2008 at 11:42 pm
  21. So gulab is really what I does fat ‘kuma’? I thought that was what yuh call the cockset looking yellow sweet. Is it made from the same ingredients as kurma? Cause it taste kinda the same, except a little richer. Yuh kinda confuffle on that one.

    23. umar on September 24th, 2008 at 4:12 pm
  22. heyyyyyy
    I came across your recipe and i absolutely love it. The Gulab Jamoom was nice and rich and everyone enjoyed it.

    24. Julie on October 22nd, 2008 at 9:27 am
  23. Hi Julie – glad you liked it and reported back :-) Thanks for visiting!

    25. Chennette on October 22nd, 2008 at 11:27 am
  24. Dear Chennette,

    yes yes i know i am kinda late on this one, but i have been eating a lot of the ‘real’ gulab jamoon lately :) So right now that is like my flavor of the month, cause it so reminds me of the taste of the fudge we’ does make that i used to have growing up. But i was just wondering if we have that or anything similar to it in Trinidad cause i can’t remember having anything sweets like that except for that yellow cockset looking thing?

    29. Umar on March 15th, 2010 at 5:03 pm
  25. yellow cockset=jelebi, which is sugar fried and soaked in syrup :-) ok, not completely sugar, but that is what it tastes like!
    as for the real gulab jamoon – fried dough in syrup, we make a ras goolah – fried balls of milk powder soaked in syrup. The spices might differ though a little in the taste.

    30. Chennette on March 16th, 2010 at 2:39 pm
  26. Or that is what you call it; jelebi…..sound like chili bibi…….thanks. But i though gulab jamoon was made with cheese? ras goolah sounds delicious, is that the same as ras mulah?

    31. Umar on March 17th, 2010 at 11:19 am
  27. Umar boy, I think we reaching the stage where I need to see pictures of what you calling these things 😀 gulab jamoon in Trinidad is just fried sweet dough. Gulab jamoon the “real” Indian sweet, is a soft fried milky dough in a sweet syrup (so it will be brown). Ras malai is made from balls of the paneer or cheese in syrup/cream, and is therefore white.
    Included the wikipedia links!

    32. Chennette on March 17th, 2010 at 12:46 pm
  28. I was actually looking up the fruit called the Gulab Jamoon. It must be a nickname applied by the early Indians in Trinidad to that purple grape like fruit called “Gulab Jamoon” These trees grow along the rice areas and sometimes form the boundaries of people’s lands.

    The fruit is eaten when very ripe or it leaves a very “cassa” taste to the mouth. Its great in chow and can also be used to make fruit wines.

    I would still like to know the Latin and English name of the plant and fruit.

    I have had some real nice Gulab Jamoon (the ones you make). I have a sweet tooth and like it when it is drowned in that nice sweet syrup.

    Shri Kapildev

    33. Kapildev on June 13th, 2011 at 10:32 pm
  29. Well,

    I just read all the blogs from way back in 2007 until present. I am now very hungry for some of those delicious offerings you all spoke of.

    I cannot cook any so I will need to run out and buy some, but wait! These delicacies are not available for sale just anywhere!!? Then I will have to kill the desire upwelling in my mouth and wait until Sunday when I can get some Jilabee and Barfee etc in the market. Then I have to wait until Eid to go by my family and secure my share of the goodies!!!

    34. Kapildev on June 13th, 2011 at 10:44 pm
  30. Hi KapilDev! Glad you found stuff to enjoy :-) We ended up in a discussion about the jamoon fruit in this Pommerac post…as my grandmother used to call pommerac (big) jamoon. But I know the smaller purply fruit you mean…just don’t know the proper name. Can try to enquire…

    35. Chennette on June 14th, 2011 at 11:26 am
  31. Hi there..its nice to see someone from Trinidad trying to diffrentiate between the Indian and Trini versions of ras goolah and gulab jamun. You’ve done a good job but I beg to differ about jelebie being fried sugar…its not even a close description of what it really is. Its a soft flour mixture..almost runny..left to curdle with lime juice or dahee/yougurt then piped in hot oil and soked in paag. Keep up the good work!

    36. angenie on September 15th, 2011 at 12:02 am
  32. Hi angenie – I know there’s more to jalebi :-) when I was young it was sooo sweet I assumed it could be nothing more than sugar!

    37. Chennette on September 15th, 2011 at 7:58 pm
  33. Hi …I just want to thank you for this wonderful recipe….I must say I tried it three times already and all came out amazing and scrumptious.. Really great recipe keep up the good work…. :)

    38. Haleema on August 25th, 2015 at 11:08 pm
  34. Hello and welcome Haleema! So glad the recipe has consistently worked out 😉 My mother will be happy we are propagating her recipe.

    39. Chennette on September 1st, 2015 at 3:45 pm
  35. I love your recipes…tried the goolab jamoon it tasted great…thanks for sharing..

    40. Lisa Joseph on November 5th, 2016 at 2:11 pm
  36. Hi you said a 1 and half lb flour but then you said 3 cups can you clarify. Because 4 cups of flour is a pound is it 3 cups or 6 cups. Thanks

    41. Reshma Ragoonanan on October 10th, 2017 at 12:21 pm
  37. Hi Reshma, the weight is more accurate we always weigh. Cup measurements for flour vary too much depending on British or US, humidity, method of filling the cup etc. I gave a cup as a possible guide but rely on the weight.

    42. Chennette on October 10th, 2017 at 5:36 pm
  38. So 6 cups of flour that seems alot

    43. Reshma Ragoonanan on October 13th, 2017 at 6:22 pm

5 Trackbacks

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